1.33.4  Financial Operating Guidelines

Manual Transmittal

May 16, 2011


(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.33.4, Strategic Planning, Budgeting and Performance Management Process, Financial Operating Guidelines.


This IRM, Financial Operating Guidelines or "FOG," provides internal guidance for the budget execution phase of the budget cycle to assist Financial Plan Managers in fulfilling their responsibilities to effectively manage budgetary resources.

This guidance provides funds control regulations, as required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11, http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_index-budget/, Part 4, Section 150, Administrative Control of Funds.

This guidance is issued by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Corporate Budget (CB).

Material Changes

(1) IRM, Food and Refreshments: replaced exceptions with a link to Internal Financial Management's new IRM 1.32.20, Using Appropriated Funds to Purchase Meals and Light Refreshments.

(2) IRM, Budget Activity (BAC) Limitations: added a cross-reference for BAC 99 reprogramming.

(3) IRM, IFS Version Descriptions: added the new IFS versions 11 and 85 for the official Operating Plan; improved the description of V10 as the enacted budget version that Corporate Budget populates; also clarified the language for other versions, specifically that V0 is current budget (not operating budget), that V1 is current plan (not operating plan), and V999 is current plan for FTE (not budget of FTE).

(4) IRM, Information Services (IS), BAC 99 Reprogramming Authority: made minor edits to make the phrasing more clear.

(5) IRM, Preparation of a Servicewide Operating Plan: updated because we are not required to submit discussion of performance measures with Operating Plan.

(6) IRM, Non-Bargaining Unit Cash Award Targets: edited to reflect decision made at the April Human Capital Board meeting about managing NBU funding.

(7) IRM, Cash Awards for Prior Fiscal Year: clarified funding issues for specific circumstances: General Legal Services gave us edits to the paragraph about Claims and Settlements; we added a paragraph to address interest on late or partial payment of awards; and we added a paragraph about funding award settlements.

(8) IRM, Rebates and Refunds: added new section to address appropriate treatment of refunds, such as travel credit card rebates.

(9) IRM, Training Programs: HCO provided updates to paragraph 3 regarding funding of training.

(10) IRM, Interagency Agreements or Reimbursable Agreements: added a statement about funding responsibility.

(11) IRM, Reimbursable Operating Guidelines (ROG): modified to clarify roles of Financial Plan Managers and reimbursable project coordinators.

(12) IRM, Vendor Payments: edited to direct readers to IFM's correct links, including receipt and acceptance information in IRM 1.35.15, Annual Close Guidelines.

(13) IRM, Expired, Closed, and No-Year Appropriations: updated the examples for current fiscal years and funds.

(14) This revision includes numerous minor editorial changes throughout the IRM, including: numerous updates to web references (especially for CFO sites); various updates for changes to table names in the Financial Codes Handbook; italicization of IRM and other reference titles; formatting of 'see also' references; and a few spelling/capitalization corrections.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.33.4, Financial Operating Guidelines, dated 04-16-2010 is superseded.


IRS budget community in all Divisions and Functions, especially the Division Finance Officers (DFO), Financial Plan Managers, and their staffs

Effective Date


Related Resources

Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-11, found on http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_index-budget/

Government Accountability Office's (GAO) Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (aka Red Book), found on http://www.gao.gov/legal.htm

Office of Personnel Management's Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, http://www.opm.gov/feddata/gppa/gppa.asp

Appropriation language, found on the Thomas Register, http://www.thomas.gov/ (click on "Appropriations Bills" to select current year bills and laws for the "Financial Services" Appropriation or a Continuing Resolution)

The current IRS Financial Codes Handbook, found on the Corporate Budget website, http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/SPB/CB_home.htm

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) website, http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/index.htm

Pamela J. LaRue,
Chief Financial Officer  (04-16-2010)

  1. The Financial Operating Guidelines (FOG) assist Financial Plan Managers in fulfilling their responsibilities to effectively manage budgetary resources.

  2. This guidance provides funds control regulations, as required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11, found on http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_index-budget/, Part 4, Section 150, Administrative Control of Funds.

  3. This guidance focuses on monitoring and controlling the money Congress has appropriated to the IRS. In compliance with the Antideficiency Act and applicable provisions of appropriation law, the IRS cannot spend or obligate more than Congress has appropriated, and may use funds only for purposes specified in law. Additionally, the Antideficiency Act prohibits the IRS from spending or obligating funds in advance of an appropriation, unless specific authority to do so has been provided in law. Each Financial Plan Manager shall comply with the Antideficiency Act and appropriation law.

  4. The Financial Operating Guidelines are published by the Chief Financial Officer's (CFO) Corporate Budget Unit (CB). Comments and change requests may be submitted to *CFO Financial Operating Guidelines or CFO.FOG@irs.gov.

  5. The IRM is not specific to a fiscal year (FY) and is therefore in effect until superseded. These Guidelines take precedence over any previous financial operating instructions.

  6. In the event of a Continuing Resolution (CR), specific CR operating guidance will be posted on the Corporate Budget website, http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/SPB/CB_home.htm. Where different and while in effect, CR guidance takes precedence over this IRM. After Congress passes the appropriations act or a substitute omnibus appropriation bill, the IRM takes precedence, but may need revisions based on the new or revised provisions in the enacted appropriations language.

  7. Future revisions, including interim guidance during the year, will be posted to the Corporate Budget website.  (01-15-2008)

  1. Financial Plan Managers must follow these budgetary policies, which encompass both internally and externally imposed guidance.  (04-16-2010)
Applicable Guidance

  1. Chapters 13, 15, and 33 of Title 31, United States Code, govern the process of budget execution. Among these, the major laws are the Antideficiency Act, the Impoundment Control Act, the provisions known as the Economy Act (§1535), the provisions that govern the closing of accounts (§1551 through 1555), and provisions of the "Miscellaneous Receipts Act" (§3302).

  2. OMB Circular A-11, Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget, found on http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_index-budget/, provides an overview of the budget process; discusses the basic laws regulating the budget process; defines the basic terms and concepts associated with the budget process; provides guidance on how to prepare and submit budget related materials required for OMB’s review; and provides instructions on budget execution, funds control, and periodic reporting.

  3. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (aka GAO's Redbook), found on http://www.gao.gov/legal/index.html, is a comprehensive collection of the body of law governing the expenditure of federal funds.

  4. The Thomas Register, http://thomas.loc.gov/ tracks appropriation language. Click on "Appropriations Bills" to select current year bills, then choose the "Financial Services" Appropriation or a Continuing Resolution, for IRS Appropriation language.

  5. All Financial Plan Managers and other budget and finance professionals must refer to and use these key regulations to manage, track, and report budgetary activities. Such individuals must have a working knowledge of the contents of OMB Circular A-11 (especially Part 4, Instructions on Budget Execution), the Appropriation language, and this IRM.  (04-16-2010)
Funds Control Responsibility

  1. The Antideficiency Act provides administrative and criminal penalties for overspending. See OMB Circular A-11, http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_index-budget/, Part 4, Section 145, Requirements for Reporting Antideficiency Act Violations.  (05-16-2011)
Individual Responsibility

  1. In the IRS, the Associate CFO for Corporate Budget formally bears the legal responsibility to ensure that the IRS as a whole does not violate the Antideficiency Act. To meet our collective funds management responsibilities, the Associate CFO relies on the Division Finance Officers for compliance with the law and these guidelines.

  2. A Financial Plan is a subdivision of funds made by the IRS to high-level Funds Centers in the Integrated Financial System (IFS); each Business Unit may manage one or more Financial Plans (see the "Fin Plans" table in the Financial Codes Handbook, found on the Corporate Budget website).

  3. The Associate CFO for Corporate Budget extends funds control responsibilities to the division commissioners or chiefs for the funds in their Financial Plans.

  4. The Division Finance Officer (DFO) is the person, often an executive, who has been delegated by their division commissioner or chief the ultimate responsibility for the funds control of their Financial Plan, as well as managing their Plan through all phases of the budget cycle (see Exhibit 1.33.4-1, Division Finance Officers and Financial Plan Managers).

  5. The Financial Plan Manager is the person who is responsible for day-to-day operations of monitoring and controlling a Financial Plan’s funds in the execution phase of the budget cycle (see Exhibit 1.33.4-1, Division Finance Officers and Financial Plan Managers).

  6. Funds control and document approval authority may be delegated to individuals within the organization as needed; so for example, the Request Tracking System identifies Financial Plan Managers as those with delegated authority to approve documents that commit and obligate funds.  (04-16-2010)
Overview of Critical Funds Control Concepts

  1. Appropriation law, including the Antideficiency Act, OMB Circular A-11, the GAO Redbook, and other applicable guidance, provides a great deal of detail on funds control concepts. Financial Plan Managers must know appropriation law concepts and often research specific details. A short overview of the most important concepts follows. The bulk of this section is copied directly from the GAO Redbook, which has a wealth of information about specific purchases and circumstances. GAO's Comptroller General (Comp. Gen.) decisions are referenced in several places to provide fuller explanations of concepts.

  2. Whether appropriated funds are legally available for something depends on three things:

    1. The purpose of the obligation or expenditure must be authorized.

    2. The obligation must occur within the time limits applicable to the appropriation.

    3. The obligation and expenditure must be within the amount Congress has established.

  3. In addition, no amount can be obligated before OMB apportions the appropriated funds.  (04-16-2010)
Purpose: the Necessary Expense Doctrine

  1. The necessary expense doctrine is described by the Comptroller General in 6 Comp. Gen. 619 (http://www.gao.gov/products/A-17673, 1927): "... Where an appropriation is made for a particular object, by implication it confers authority to incur expenses which are necessary or proper or incident to the proper execution of the object, unless there is another appropriation which makes more specific provision for such expenditures, or unless they are prohibited by law, or unless it is manifestly evident from various precedent appropriation acts...."


    Since we have a specific appropriation for Business Systems Modernization (BSM), we must charge BSM expenses to that appropriation, not a more general appropriation.

  2. An appropriation for a specific object is available for that object to the exclusion of a more general appropriation, which might otherwise be considered available for the same object, and the exhaustion of the specific appropriation does not authorize charging any excess payment to the more general appropriation, unless there is something in the general appropriation to make it available in addition to the specific appropriation.


    We cannot charge BSM expenses to Operations Support, even if there are no BSM funds available.

  3. Where two appropriations are available for the same purpose, the agency may select which one to charge for the expenditure in question. Once that election has been made, the agency must continue to use the same appropriation for that purpose unless the agency at the beginning of the fiscal year informs the Congress of its intent to change it.


    If we had some discretion to charge a new expense for printing taxpayer education materials to either Taxpayer Services or Operations Support, and we decided to charge it to Operations Support, we must continue to charge it to Operations Support (the "pick and stick" rule).

  4. When applying the necessary expense rule, an expenditure can be justified after meeting a three-part test:

    1. The expenditure must bear a logical relationship to the appropriation to be charged. In other words, it must make a direct contribution to carrying out either a specific appropriation or an authorized agency function for which more general appropriations are available.

    2. The expenditure must not be prohibited by law.

    3. The expenditure must not be otherwise provided for, that is, it must not be an item that falls within the scope of some other appropriation or statutory funding scheme.  (05-16-2011)
Food and Refreshments

  1. (1) As a general rule, IRS may not use appropriated funds to furnish food for Federal employees at their duty stations, unless specifically authorized under statute.

  2. See IRM 1.32.20, Using Appropriated Funds to Purchase Meals and Light Refreshments.  (04-16-2010)
Time: the Bona Fide Needs Doctrine

  1. The "bona fide needs" rule is set forth in 31 USC §1502(a): "The balance of an appropriation or fund limited for obligation to a definite period is available only for payment of expenses properly incurred during the period of availability or to complete contracts properly made within that period of availability and obligated consistent with section 1501 of this title. However, the appropriation or fund is not available for expenditure for a period beyond the period otherwise authorized by law." In other words, current year funds are used for current year needs.

  2. GAO, in its Glossary of Terms used in the Budget Process, found on http://www.gao.gov/legal/resources.html, defines an obligation as "A definite commitment that creates a legal liability of the government for the payment of goods and services ordered or received.... An agency incurs an obligation, for example, when it places an order, signs a contract, awards a grant, purchases a service, or takes other actions that require the government to make payments to the public or from one government account to another. The standards for the proper reporting of obligations are found in section 1501(a) of title 31 of the United States Code. See OMB Circular No. A-11."


    Petitioners' attorneys made a joint motion to award attorney fees on September 5, 2006 (FY 2006). The Tax Court awarded over $1 million in attorney's fees and expenses on October 4, 2006 (FY 2007). As a general rule, an agency must pay a claim from the appropriation available for the fiscal year in which the amount of the claim was determined and allowed. In this case, the IRS had no obligation to pay the $1 million until the Tax Court issued its order. Because the Court issued its final determination on October 4, 2006, the Service had to use its FY 2007 appropriation.

  3. Agencies may not purchase services or merchandise before appropriations are enacted and accounts are apportioned.

  4. Year-end: appropriated funds should not be used to purchase anything unnecessary merely in order to use excess funds in a fiscal year.

  5. Training: Generally, current fiscal year funds may not be used for training that will occur in the next fiscal year. On an exception basis, current fiscal year funds may be used for training during the next fiscal year only if the following three conditions are met:

    1. The training meets a bona fide need of the current fiscal year.

    2. Scheduling of the course(s) must be beyond the agency’s control.

    3. The time between procurement and performance must not be excessive.

    If a course is normally available from one or more vendors several times a year, it would be difficult to support that the scheduling was beyond the agency's control. For a complete explanation, see 70 Comp. Gen. 296, http://www.gao.gov/products/B-238940, 1991).

  6. Expired appropriations: No new obligations may be made against expired appropriations, not even if there was a need for that item during that period. The expired appropriation remains available for 5 years only to pay obligations incurred prior to the account’s expiration or to adjust obligations that were previously unrecorded or under-recorded. As provided in 31 USC §1552(a): "the account shall retain its fiscal-year identity and remain available for recording, adjusting, and liquidating obligations properly chargeable to that account." See IRM, Expired, Closed, and No-Year Appropriations.


    In FY 2008, we had to ratify payment of rental fees on a Post Office box, expenses incurred each year since FY 2003, but not previously obligated. This was an actual, unrecorded obligation to the government. The fees for the five years FY 2003 to FY 2007 had to be charged to each of the five expired appropriations for those years.


    Many administrative obligations (such as utilities or travel) are recorded based on estimated costs. When a bill comes in after a fiscal year has ended for more than the estimate, these obligation "adjustments" must be made from expired unobligated balances from the year the estimate was recorded.


    For a contract with a continuing need, a modification affecting cost within the scope of the contract may be chargeable to an expired appropriation, depending on the specifics, but a modification for an increased quantity must be charged to a new appropriation.

  7. Replacement Contracts: where it becomes necessary to terminate a contract because of the contractor’s default or where the contracting agency determines that a contract award was improper, the funds obligated under the original contract are available, beyond their original period of obligational availability, for the purpose of engaging another contractor to complete the unfinished work. Four simple conditions must exist to invoke this authority:

    1. A bona fide need must continue to exist.

    2. The replacement contract must not exceed the scope of the original contract.

    3. The replacement contract must be awarded within a "reasonable time" after termination of the original contract.

    4. The original contract had to be made in good faith.

  8. Multiyear Contracts: A multiyear contract is a contract that covers the needs of more than one fiscal year. This is not to be confused with a contract for needs of the current year, even though performance may extend over several years. For example, a contract to construct a ship that will take 3 years to complete is not a multiyear contract; but a contract to construct one ship a year for 3 years is. Appropriation law allows agencies to enter multiyear contracts only if it has available no-year funds or multiyear funds covering the entire term of the contract, or if the agency has specific statutory authority to do so.

  9. It is impossible to describe in this IRM every circumstance that may occur. Different types of purchases may follow rules that are not necessarily intuitive, and examples can be easily misinterpreted. So these examples are offered with a strong caution to research specific cases well. When in doubt, call your Corporate Budget contact, who in turn may ask General Legal Services (GLS) to help interpret the law on a case-by-case basis.  (04-16-2010)

  1. Agencies may not purchase an item or enter into a contract that exceeds the appropriation for the year or the amount apportioned by OMB, whichever is lower.

  2. Agencies may not pay bills when there are no available funds.  (01-15-2008)
Legislative Policies

  1. IRS appropriated funds are provided through appropriation laws. The laws may be one of the annual appropriations (for annual or multiyear appropriations), an omnibus appropriation, a supplemental appropriation, a CR, or permanent law (i.e., mandatory appropriations and revolving funds). These laws often contain specific provisions regarding the execution of IRS and other government programs. All internal policies and procedures must reflect Congress’ direction given in these laws.  (01-15-2008)
Appropriation Transfers

  1. By appropriation law, no agency may transfer resources between appropriations except under specific legal provisions and with congressional approval. It is unlawful to obligate or expend more than the appropriated amount (or the apportioned amount if lower). The administrative provisions of IRS appropriation language allow the IRS very limited authority to transfer funds between appropriations, with prior approval of the Treasury Department, OMB, and Congress. This authority must be carefully controlled by Corporate Budget. All requests for inter-Appropriation transfers must be justified to and approved in advance by Corporate Budget (see IRM, Appropriation Transfer Procedures).  (01-15-2008)
Reprogramming Guidelines

  1. Congress and the Administration restrict reprogramming to exert control over the budget.  (05-16-2011)
Budget Activity (BAC) Limitations

  1. Congress specifically limits the reprogramming of funds that augment or reduce funding of existing programs, projects, or activities. Currently, the limit is the lower of $5 million or 10%; the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations must approve in advance any reprogramming in excess of the limits included in the Appropriation language; this restricts reprogramming at the Budget Activity (BAC) level. In addition, prior approval is needed to create a new program or to eliminate an existing one through the reprogramming of funds.

  2. To facilitate managing within this tight limit, Corporate Budget extends authority to Financial Plan Managers to reprogram between BACs, as long as the cumulative amount for the year does not augment or reduce a BAC by more than $100,000. Corporate Budget must approve any amount beyond that cumulative $100,000, prior to any action in IFS.


    See IRM, Information Services (IS), BAC 99 Reprogramming Authority (internal reprogramming policies).  (01-15-2008)
Financial Plan Manager Responsibilities for Reprogramming Limitations

  1. Financial Plan Managers may reprogram between Functional Areas within an appropriation only to the extent they do not change the BAC levels in excess of the $100,000 threshold. The relationship between Functional Areas and BACs is identified in the "BACs" table of the current Financial Codes Handbook, found on the Corporate Budget website.

  2. This guidance applies to reprogramming in both IFS Budget Versions 0 and 1 (V0 and V1).  (01-15-2008)
Internal Budget Execution Policies

  1. In addition to adhering to legislative policies, all reprogramming actions must be justified.

  2. Key points to consider:

    1. Reprogramming actions must support the Financial Plan's Strategy and Program Plan.

    2. Actions taken in the current year – such as hiring or position management decisions – must be consistent with budgeted resources and objectives of the next fiscal year, as well as long-term strategic objectives.

    3. All nondiscretionary costs must be fully funded before additional funds can be expended on discretionary costs.  (04-16-2010)
Managing within Resource Availability

  1. Financial Plan Managers need to work within their resource availability to achieve program plans. The Business Performance Review Process focuses IRS efforts to deliver programs and manage resources. After activity levels are set, funding changes should be an exception in program management. Any needs above the plan should first be resolved within the Financial Plan or attempts made to see if funds are available in other organizations that could be realigned without exceeding Appropriation or BAC limitations. If no resolution can be found, submit a request to Corporate Budget with a full justification.

  2. Corporate Budget monitors Financial Plans on a monthly basis and through a more comprehensive midyear review. Financial Plan Managers are required to identify any surpluses or out-of-cycle requests to Corporate Budget at midyear. Corporate Budget will pull identified surpluses into corporate reserves to support corporate unfunded priorities through year-end.

  3. Business Unit hiring actions are permitted as long as they have adequate labor resources in the current fiscal year. Business Units must manage their hiring and staffing levels so they do not exceed resource availability in the new fiscal year.  (01-15-2008)
Financial Reviews

  1. Ensuring optimal and efficient use of IRS resources is a high priority. This IRM reinforces the need to minimize the amount of year-end obligations (i.e., after August 31), while maximizing obligations in support of business priorities. The Business Units participate in several financial reviews throughout the year, as needed, including the following formal reviews to ensure the optimal use of IRS resources.  (05-16-2011)
Labor Reviews

  1. Corporate Budget conducts Labor Reviews using the IFS 3-Year Rolling Forecast (3YRF). Specifics are included in the current Labor Analysis Guidelines, found on the Corporate Budget website. See IRM, Labor Projections.  (01-15-2008)
Budget Execution Activity Reports

  1. Corporate Budget prepares a Servicewide Budget Execution Activity Report at regular intervals for senior management, with individual reports for each Financial Plan. Execution reports are used to analyze and report Servicewide spending patterns, realignment of resources, potential surpluses, and early identification of unfunded needs or resource shortfalls. These reports also support quarterly and midyear reviews.  (04-16-2010)
Midyear/Spend Plan Review

  1. After the close of the second quarter, Corporate Budget conducts a Midyear / Spend Plan Review with each Business Unit to assess the financial position of the organization, for internal and external stakeholders. This review:

    1. Evaluates the status of spending to ensure timely obligation of funds, per CFO and Procurement guidance

    2. Identifies potential unfunded needs and surpluses

    3. Identifies potential base shortfalls that can be corrected in the multiyear planning process

    4. Promotes timely posting of reimbursables

    5. Provides necessary information for the Treasury Midyear Review, conducted within all Treasury bureaus

    6. Finalizes the spend plans

  2. Business Units are required to meet commitment and obligation targets established jointly by the CFO and Procurement.

  3. In addition, Business Units must meet the following targets for total obligations (labor and nonlabor):

    • 82% of budget obligated by July 31

    • 92% of nonlabor budget obligated by August 31 (91% for labor)

    • 99.7% of budget obligated by September 30

    'Total obligations' means unliquidated obligations, expenditures, and disbursements (OED). The ratios are calculated as a percent of the operating budget level (IFS Budget Version 0).


    These targets support the overall goal of using our resources wisely. Do not use the targets as a reason to buy anything unnecessarily (see IRM, Time: the Bona Fide Needs Doctrine). If you can not meet the targets, you might have excess budget that could be used toward corporate needs.

  4. Specific guidance is issued by Corporate Budget and is posted on the Corporate Budget website at the beginning of the Midyear Review process.  (05-16-2011)
AUC and AUO Reviews

  1. The quarterly Aging of Unliquidated Commitments (AUC) and Obligations (AUO) Reviews provide critical analyses of the Spend Plan, facilitate the management of the procurement process, and maximize use of funds (see IRM, Unliquidated Commitments/Obligations).

  2. The CFO Internal Financial Management (IFM) Unit provides guidance for these reviews on its website, http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/IntFinMgmt/IFM_Home.htm, within the annual "FY XXXX Year-End Memo."  (05-16-2011)
Financial Plan Manager Authority

  1. Financial Plan Managers have the authority to implement reprogramming only in their assigned Financial Plans, and are accountable for strict adherence to the limitations set forth above in IRM, Legislative Policies.

  2. Financial Plan Managers may limit or delegate their reprogramming authority for offices within their Financial Plans. In doing so, the Financial Plan Manager retains responsibility for ensuring that limitations contained in these Operating Guidelines are not violated, and at all times must be able to explain all reprogramming changes made in their Financial Plan. The individuals designated as Financial Plan Managers are identified by position title in Exhibit 1.33.4-1, Division Finance Officers and Financial Plan Managers.

  3. A Financial Plan Manager may delegate to others outside their Business Unit the authority to make entries to their Financial Plan, as necessary to accomplish realignments between Financial Plans in IFS. All realignments between Financial Plans must be initiated by the sending Financial Plan Manager; see procedures in IRM, Realignments between Financial Plans.

  4. At times, Corporate Budget makes entries to other Financial Plans. These occasions will be limited, and Corporate Budget will notify the Financial Plan Managers when their involvement is necessary.  (04-16-2010)
Segregation of Duties

  1. Segregation of duties separates roles and responsibilities to ensure that an individual cannot process a transaction from initiation through reporting without the involvement of others, thereby reducing the risk of fraud or error to an acceptable level. Examples of situations requiring segregation of duties:

    • Receiving checks, and posting them in a financial system

    • Making purchases with the purchase card, approving them, and paying the vendor

    • Entering a requisition, creating the obligation, recording the receipt and acceptance of goods and/or services received under that obligation, and then processing the invoice and paying the vendor

  2. Financial Plan Managers should establish, develop, and monitor controls via segregation of duties, to ensure that conflicting activities are not assigned to the same individual and are appropriately segregated.  (04-16-2010)
Managing IFS Versions

  1. Financial Plan Managers are required to routinely monitor, reconcile, and timely correct discrepancies in their budget data in all IFS versions. Having an up-to-date and accurate system allows Corporate Budget to accurately report on the financial status to internal and external stakeholders. This also decreases the magnitude of problems at year-end.  (05-16-2011)
IFS Version Descriptions

  1. IFS has four versions of the current year budget:

    1. Budget Version 0 (V0) represents the current budget and sets availability controls. Controls are by Fund, Fund Center (Financial Plan level), Object Class, and Functional Area. For example, IFS will prohibit spending in excess of funds in 0912-AWSS-1A-23. Version V0 must be kept up-to-date, because it establishes the availability controls.

    2. Budget Version 1 (V1) represents the current plan, with detail by Commitment Items and lower level Fund Centers. V1 does not set availability control; therefore the budget for a Fund Center (Allotment office level) or a Commitment Item could be exceeded. Presence control lines in V1 define valid code combinations for IFS interface systems.

    3. Budget Version 10 (V10) represents the enacted budget. Corporate Budget populates this version after the budget is passed and represents the budget levels allocated for IRS Appropriations and Budget Activities. Only congressionally-approved budgetary changes or reprogramming requests are entered in V10. V10 is used for reporting purposes and is compared to V0 to identify changes

    4. Budget Version 11 (V11) represents the official operating plan, how we will deliver the enacted budget. Corporate Budget populates versions 11 and 85.

    5. Budget Version 85 (V85) represents the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) associated with V11, the official operating plan. Corporate Budget populates versions 11 and 85.

    6. Budget Version 999 (V999) represents the current plan for FTE staffing resources, associated with V0 and V1. This FTE budget has detail by Fund, Functional Area, Fund Center, and Activity Type.  (08-28-2006)
Reconciliation of Budget Versions 0 and 1

  1. At all times Budget Versions V0 and V1 must be in agreement by Fund, Fund Center (Financial Plan level), Object Class, and Functional Area. To ensure that each version is in agreement and V0 does not go negative, reconciliations must be performed on a regular basis, the frequency of which can vary between Financial Plans. At fiscal year-end, the frequency must be biweekly in August, weekly in early September, and daily after September 14. Failure to do this would result in inaccurate data reporting to external stakeholders.

  2. Corporate Budget performs a monthly reconciliation process of V0 and V1 at the Servicewide level. Corporate Budget will notify Financial Plan Managers immediately of any discrepancies found.  (05-16-2011)
Elimination of Budget Deficits in Version 0

  1. Because of IFS budget controls, Budget Availability in V0 (Total Budget minus Commitments, Obligations, Expenditures, and Disbursements) cannot be a negative amount. The one exception is that payroll can force availability into a deficit; this happens especially in September in plans with significant reimbursables not yet posted. Because payroll can cause budget deficits in labor categories, Financial Plan Managers must identify and correct any budget deficit in V0, even those less than one dollar, to maintain budget availability at the Object Class level (Object Classes 11, 12, and 13), in all funds except closed appropriations. Financial Plan Managers must research their budget deficits every two weeks, and correct them no later than one week after payroll posts. The IFS report ZBUDCOMP is a helpful tool in identifying and resolving these negatives; also, the IFS report FMRP_RFFMAV03X helps to quickly identify negatives associated with labor. Subsequently, an FR58 must be processed to resolve these negatives. Further, Financial Plan Managers must do everything possible to post reimbursables timely, throughout the year and especially at year-end (see IRM 1.33.3, the Reimbursable Operating Guidelines).  (04-16-2010)
Elimination of Budget Deficits in Version 1

  1. Financial Plan Managers should identify and correct budget deficits in V1 at the same time that versions V0 and V1 are reconciled. While V1 has no impact on funds control, keeping V1 clean is a sound business practice, needed both for external reporting and internal analysis.

  2. At year-end, Financial Plan Managers must correct V1 budget deficits in active appropriations that extend beyond the current year through multi or no-year authority.


    In FY 2009, Financial Plan Managers must correct any V1 budget deficits in appropriation 09100912D, as it extends beyond the current year.

  3. Financial Plan Managers do not have to correct V1 budget deficits in current year and multiyear funds expiring in the current year, unless the amount is excessive.  (04-16-2010)
Elimination of Negative Disbursements

  1. Financial Plan Managers must eliminate a negative disbursement created by transferring disbursements in excess of what was disbursed in an accounting string. However, they do not need to eliminate a negative disbursement created by credits posting to current year funds from prior year charges, since they are legitimate credits. Plan managers must correct negative disbursements in active appropriations that extend beyond the current year through multi or no-year authority, cancelling appropriations, and expiring reimbursable appropriations.  (01-15-2008)
Prohibition of "Top Node" Distributions

  1. When establishing new budget authority, Corporate Budget pushes budget down through the IFS "top node" data elements; that is, Commitment Item ALLOBJ and Functional Area ALFA. However, Financial Plan Managers may not post funds to the top node, because charges in ALLOBJ/ALFA create problems for financial reporting, cost allocations, and reprogramming limitation reports. All funds must possess a valid Commitment Item and Functional Area in both versions V0 and V1. Any funds remaining at the ALLOBJ/ALFA level should be pushed down accordingly.


    Financial Plan Managers may post to the top node only when specifically directed by Corporate Budget or when "drowning" FTEs (see IRM, Changing FTEs in IFS).  (08-28-2006)
Keeping FTEs aligned with Labor

  1. Budget Version 999 must be maintained so that FTEs and labor dollars stay in proper relationship at all times (see IRM, FTE Utilization Policies).  (08-28-2006)
Keeping Funds Reservations Aligned with Budget

  1. Funds Reservations, which establish budget for Internal Orders (i.e., projects or reimbursables), must be kept up-to-date and in line with V0 and V1 (see IRM, Internal Orders and Funds Reservations).  (01-15-2008)
Financial Codes

  1. The validity and accuracy of IRS financial reports depends on the correct use of financial codes. Financial Plan Managers, all staff in budget organizations, and all parties responsible for assigning financial codes to documents must be familiar with the codes and definitions in the Financial Codes Handbook, found on the Corporate Budget website.

  2. Internal Orders are set up to track project-specific information (see IRM, Internal Orders and Funds Reservations). When necessary, the CFO will issue guidance or procedures for using specific Internal Orders for Servicewide activities or projects that need to be tracked; such guidance will be posted on the CFO website or the Corporate Budget website.

  3. Procedures for establishing new financial codes, referred to as IFS Master Data, are provided in Exhibit 1.33.4-2, Master Data (Code) Change Request Procedure.  (04-16-2010)
Reorganizations and Other Modifications Affecting Budget

  1. Financial Plan Managers are required to notify Corporate Budget of any reorganizations, as soon as senior management approves the initial reorganization proposal. Congress directs us to include in our annual Operating Plan the details on any planned reorganization, job reductions or increases to offices or activities within the agency, and modifications to any service or enforcement activity. Since Congress does not specify the level of detail that constitutes a "reorganization" for reporting purposes, Financial Plan Managers should err on the side of caution. To prevent surprises to the Oversight Board and Corporate Budget, assume reorganizations include any realignment of responsibilities that might affect staffing within offices, realignments between Functional Areas, centralization of activities, or redefinition of any master data.

  2. Corporate Budget personnel will maintain the appropriate level of confidentiality regarding possible reorganizations, as requested by the Financial Plan Manager.

  3. To request new or revised financial codes, see Exhibit 1.33.4-2, Master Data (Code) Change Request Procedure.

  4. For more guidance on reorganizations, see IRM 1.1.4 , Organizational Planning.  (08-28-2006)
Labor Costs Reprogramming

  1. Financial Plan Managers may reprogram funds from labor in order to maintain maximum resource flexibility, consistent with accountability for results.

  2. Fiscal accountability demands that Financial Plan Managers balance labor and support in order that FTEs are fully costed and strategic plans are realized. More information is available on managing FTEs (IRM, FTE Utilization Policies) and on hiring (IRM, Personnel Issues).  (05-16-2011)
Information Services (IS), BAC 99 Reprogramming Authority

  1. All information technology resources reside in the Modernization & Information Technology Services (MITS) Financial Plan. Information Services (IS) is no longer a separate appropriation; it is a Budget Activity and must follow BAC reprogramming guidance. In addition, all requests for reprogramming affecting BAC 99, Information Services, must follow the MITS Reprogramming Policy; contact the MITS Office of Financial Management Services for more information.  (08-28-2006)

  1. Financial Plan Managers must adhere to the following budgetary procedures, which provide more detailed guidance for budget execution.  (01-15-2008)
CFO Servicewide Procedures

  1. CFO Servicewide Procedures are developed and imposed by the CFO, as a result of high-level direction from a number of sources, including OMB, the Commissioner, and others.  (01-15-2008)
Corporate Budget Responsibilities

  1. Even though many budget execution activities are decentralized, Corporate Budget continues to have Servicewide fiduciary responsibility.

  2. Corporate Budget monitors Business Units’ budget execution activities to identify potential issues before they become corporate ones. This includes the monthly reconciliation of IFS Budget Versions 0 and 1.

  3. Corporate Budget reports to the CFO each month on the status of BAC ceilings and floors at the Servicewide level.

  4. Corporate Budget periodically reviews reprogramming out of labor to verify the impact on current or out-year resource levels. Corporate Budget will work with the Financial Plan Managers to ensure reallocations make sound business sense.

  5. Corporate Budget is responsible for the Centralized Payments Plan 1111, the Undistributed Funds Plan 0290, prior year funds, and IRS appropriation levels.  (04-16-2010)

  1. Corporate Budget has primary responsibility for overseeing budget execution policy.

  2. Within Corporate Budget, an assigned Execution analyst is the primary point of contact for each Business Unit, for any questions or requests regarding budget execution or the FOG. Communications from Corporate Budget to the Financial Plan Managers should go through the assigned Execution Business Unit Analyst.

  3. For financial code change requests, the Financial Plan Manager should send the request directly to Corporate Budget’s Master Data Team, with a copy to the assigned Execution analyst. Procedures for Master Data changes are provided in Exhibit 1.33.4-2, Master Data (Code) Change Request Procedure.

  4. For any budget formulation questions or requests, the Financial Plan Manager should go directly to the assigned Formulation Business Unit Analyst.  (05-16-2011)
Preparation of a Servicewide Operating Plan

  1. The House Appropriations Committee directs the IRS to submit an operating plan no later than 60 days after enactment of the new fiscal year's appropriation.

  2. Corporate Budget prepares a table that crosswalks the budget request to the enacted level of funding and the current operating plan. The format is similar to the Explanation of Proposed Fiscal Year Budget Operating Level chart in the Congressional Budget Justification.

  3. Financial Plan Managers develop narrative to provide program, project, and activity information for each appropriation. The narrative must: (a) describe the major goals to be achieved with the funding provided and how funds for each BAC are to be used; (b) discuss the impact of congressional changes to the President’s Budget Request; (c) identify anticipated reprogramming actions of enacted funds; and (d) provide information on major procurements and capital investments.

  4. Corporate Budget compiles and submits the crosswalk table and narratives referenced above.  (04-16-2010)

  1. OMB automatically apportions funding levels during a CR. After passage of final appropriations, Corporate Budget prepares and submits revised apportionments to Treasury and OMB for approval.

  2. The Business Systems Modernization (BSM) multiyear accounts have limited flexibility. The BSM total funding level is apportioned with a footnote tying it to the latest approved expenditure plan (or spend plan); therefore, no non-labor spending is allowed until the Committees on Appropriations approve the expenditure plan. During a CR, the CTO should prepare an exception request, to spend funds for ongoing BSM projects until we receive our appropriation. Deviations from the spend plan levels of 10% or $1 million, whichever is less, for any project, require 10 days advance notification to OMB, via a revised apportionment and explanation of the change using a rolling 3-year exhibit. (see IRM, Business Systems Modernization (BSM))

  3. For the yearly appropriations, an amount not to exceed 1% of the total is apportioned to pay legitimate obligations related to closed appropriations.  (01-15-2008)
Appropriation Transfer Procedures

  1. As stated in IRM, Appropriation Transfers, the IRS has limited flexibility to transfer funds between appropriations, subject to prior congressional approval. All proposed inter-appropriation transfers must be justified to and approved by Corporate Budget. If approved, Corporate Budget will submit the Transfer request for approval to Treasury, OMB, and the congressional subcommittees. After receiving all approvals, Corporate Budget will submit Standard Form (SF) 1151, Nonexpenditure Transfer of Funds to Treasury. The appropriation transfer process may take months, so we must plan accordingly. Only after the entire process is complete, the appropriate Financial Plan Manager will coordinate the transfer in IFS.  (08-28-2006)
Interagency Transfers

  1. Corporate Budget controls funds transfers between the IRS and other agencies, documented with the transfer request SF 1151. The SF 1151 must cite the Public Law or other authority that authorizes the transfer. When a Financial Plan Manager needs to send or receive funds from another agency, the Financial Plan Manager must provide the following information via e-mail to Corporate Budget:

    Required Information to Support Interagency Transfer
    Transfer (FROM/TO) [IRS information]
    1. IRS Fund Code

    2. Financial Plan & Fund Center

    3. Functional Area

    4. Commitment Item

    5. Internal Order, if appropriate

    6. Amount

    7. Justification for Request

    8. Date Needed

    9. Finance Contact Name & Phone Number

    10. Authorizing authority (such as Public Law, U.S. Code, etc.)

    11. Authorized by

    Transfer (TO/FROM) [other agency information]
    1. Agency

    2. Treasury Account Symbol

    3. Accounting Information, as available

    4. Agency Contact Name & Phone Number

    5. Backup Contact Name & Phone Number

  2. Some interagency transfers will require an SF 132, "Apportionment or Reapportionment Request," which must be approved by the Treasury Department and OMB before the SF 1151 may be forwarded. All approvals must be granted before funds may be moved in IFS.  (08-28-2006)
Realignments between Financial Plans

  1. Realignments between Financial Plans require coordination between the designated Financial Plan Manager representatives in both the receiving and the sending Financial Plans.  (01-15-2008)
Arrangements between Financial Plans

  1. In IFS, the sending Financial Plan Manager enters realignments using a Transfer Budget document, IFS transaction code FR58. This applies to all affected Budget Versions – V0, V1 and/or V999. The sending Financial Plan Manager must ensure the entry does not exceed BAC reprogramming limitations (IRM, Reprogramming Guidelines).

  2. The receiving Financial Plan Manager provides, via e-mail to the sending Financial Plan Manager, the appropriate Receiver Lines (TO lines) to use for the FR58 transaction including the Fund, Functional Area, Fund Center, and Commitment Item.

  3. Within a week of receiving the e-mail, the sender must resolve any issues with the receiver and accurately enter the FR58 transaction into IFS. The sender attaches the receiver’s e-mail to the FR58 transaction as a "Long Text" note, and copies the TO lines directly into the FR58 transaction, providing a detailed audit trail in each budget address.

  4. If there are Internal Orders related to the transaction, the sending Financial Plan Manager is responsible for reducing the Funds Reservation on the FROM side before inputting the FR58 transfer. The receiving Financial Plan Manager is responsible for increasing the Funds Reservation on the TO side.

    Summary of Responsibilities for Realignments between Financial Plans
    Sending Financial Plan Manager (FPM) Receiving Financial Plan Manager (FPM)
    Ensures funds are available and coordinates with receiving FPM to ensure reprogramming limitations are not exceeded. Coordinates with the sending FPM to ensure that reprogramming limitations are not exceeded.
    Enters the FR58 (FROM and TO sides) into Budget Versions V0 and V1, using the receiver's detailed TO lines. Timely provides accurate TO lines for FR58.
    Enters reduction of Funds Reservations for the FROM side, if applicable. Enters Funds Reservations for the TO side, if applicable.
    Enters FR58 transactions for FTEs (FROM and TO sides) into Budget Version 999, if Salaries are transferred, and ensures new FTE and labor levels in the sending plan are balanced. Provides accurate TO lines for receiving FTEs, if Salaries are transferred, and ensures remaining FTEs and labor in the receiving plan are balanced.  (08-28-2006)
Realignments Requiring Assistance from Corporate Budget

  1. Financial Plan Managers should first try to resolve funding issues by making realignments within the Financial Plan. Second, they should see if funds are available in other organizations that could be realigned without exceeding appropriation and/or BAC limitations. Finally, if no resolution can be found, a Financial Plan Manager may submit a request to Corporate Budget with a full justification. If approved, Corporate Budget will contact the Financial Plan Manager to coordinate the reprogramming in IFS.

  2. Submit requests with the following information:

    Required Information to Support Request for Funds/Realignments
    FROM and TO (if applicable)
    1. Fund Code

    2. Financial Plan and Fund Center

    3. Functional Area

    4. Commitment Item

    5. Internal Order, if appropriate

    6. Amount

    7. Date Needed

    8. Finance Contact Name & Phone Number

    9. Justification  (08-28-2006)
Labor Projections and Charging Labor Cost

  1. Labor costs are the single largest portion of the IRS budget, making up roughly 70% of direct appropriations. Financial Plan Managers must therefore use labor projections to project and monitor current fiscal year requirements.  (04-16-2010)
Labor Projections

  1. During budget execution, Financial Plan Managers must monitor their labor costs regularly, using the IFS 3-Year Rolling Forecast (3YRF). All Financial Plan Managers will input their hiring, attrition, and any other assumptions specific to their Financial Plan, in the module on a regular basis. Additionally, Financial Plan Managers must provide Other Than Full-Time Perm staff plan data to Corporate Budget as needed.

  2. Formal Labor Reviews are scheduled as part of the Financial Review process (see IRM, Financial Reviews). Corporate Budget will use the 3-Year Rolling Forecast data to report on staffing levels and to make labor projections. Corporate Budget will perform several labor analyses, to ensure that funds are allocated appropriately. More specifics are included in the current Labor Analysis Guidelines, found on the Corporate Budget website.

  3. Corporate Budget arranges 3-Year Rolling Forecast training throughout the year for the Business Units. Additionally, the Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) Team posts news and resources on the Business Planning & Simulation (BPS, or Strategic Enterprise Management) website, http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/IntFinMgmt/IFS/SEM_TEAM/SemTeamHome.html.  (08-28-2006)
Charging Labor Costs, General

  1. Labor costs are generally obligated to Functional Areas based on the Cost Center where the employee is currently assigned organizationally. The Cost Center is based on the Totally Automated Personnel System (TAPS) organizational segment ("org seg" ) code. When employees perform work in a Functional Area or on an Internal Order other than the one where they are currently assigned organizationally, their time should be charged to the Functional Area or Internal Order where the work is performed. However, because adjustments to time charging require significant key entry and are highly susceptible to error, each Financial Plan Manager must choose an approach to time charging that balances timeliness, burden, and accuracy.

  2. As the primary approach to time charging, Financial Plan Managers should generally leave time charged to the home Cost Center, as long as the data will be reasonably accurate.

  3. Financial Plan Managers should use direct charging (line-by-line accounting) only for a few defined needs, especially capturing work on Internal Orders and detail assignments through the Single Entry Time Reporting (SETR) system (see below for more details).

  4. Use indirect charging for limited needs, e.g., Counsel’s activities, EITC charging, and determination and outreach work done by Tax Exempt & Government Entities (TE/GE) revenue agents. The emphasis should be on the need for reasonably accurate data, making indirect charging of small amounts unnecessary. As with all document entry, ensure proper documentation to justify the entries into IFS. Indirect charging is done in IFS by using transaction code FV50 with document type EV (Expense Voucher, the IFS document type for correcting and transferring expenditures).

  5. Gaining and losing organizations are both responsible for using correct accounting codes when there is a delay in the release of employees to a different organization code or when there is a delay in the processing of an SF 52, "Personnel Action Request" for an employee reassigned to a different organization code.  (01-15-2008)
Charging Labor Costs, Details and Temporary Promotions

  1. A "detail" or detail assignment is defined, for financial purposes, as any assignment to work outside the "home" Cost Center and/or Functional Area, for a specified period of time with a minimum duration of one pay period, when the employee is expected to return to his or her regular duties at the end of the assignment.

  2. All details must be charged to the correct Functional Area through timekeeping, unless an SF 52 is prepared, which automatically points the charges and the on-rolls to the new receiving Cost Center and Functional Area. The correct activity is the Functional Area representing the work being done. If, for some reason, the receiving office is not funding the detail, the employee’s manager must coordinate with the servicing budget office to coordinate charging the employee’s time to their home Cost Center, and must charge it to the correct Functional Area. The overriding principle is that Financial Plan Managers must charge time correctly by Functional Area to avoid statutory violations of appropriation law.

  3. The timekeeping procedures for details call for using a D, U, or S code in the 13th position of the 18-digit accounting string, all of which correct the charges for FTEs and dollars, but not on-rolls. The D, U, and S codes work the same in IFS.


    Because on-rolls of details do not move when we use the D, U or S code in timekeeping, on-roll-based labor projections, especially 3-Year Rolling Forecast projections, should be adjusted to account for details.

  4. When a detail involves a temporary promotion, the on-rolls move to the organization that is doing the promotion, so it’s important to know when the temporary promotion will end, since 3-Year Rolling Forecast will continue to assume the person stays in the promoting organization. The Human Resources Reporting Center, http://persinfo.web.irs.gov/ can be used to determine the ending date of the temporary promotion (see Secured Business Unit Sites, Employee Data Reports, NTE Report – TIMIS and TAPS).

  5. Each Business Unit should establish a control point at a high level within the organization (e.g., branch, division or operation) to keep a log of all employees authorized to be on one of these codes and the expected duration. Follow up as necessary to ensure that the code is removed when no longer applicable.  (01-15-2008)
FTE Utilization Policies

  1. FTE allocations are maintained in IFS Budget Version 999 (see IRM, IFS Version Descriptions).

  2. Financial Plan Managers should ensure FTEs are fully funded with labor and nonlabor resources. In particular, each Financial Plan’s labor funding (specifically, Commitment Items 11SP, 11ST and 12LA in IFS version V1) must support the number of FTEs in the Financial Plan (version V999) at all times. When funding transfers are made, FTE adjustments must be made to retain this balance between FTEs and labor.

  3. Financial Plan Managers are responsible for their FTE resources, although systemically they need Corporate Budget's assistance to change the total FTE number in IFS (see IRM, Changing FTEs in IFS). Financial Plan Managers are allowed to "drown" surplus FTEs (that is, reduce FTE allocations) from the Financial Plan, to create additional FTEs, and to convert between Other Than Full-Time Permanent FTEs and Full-Time Permanent FTEs, as needed to maintain balance. These actions are permitted as long as sufficient labor and nonlabor funds are available to support the FTEs, and they do not adversely impact accomplishment of the Strategy and Program Plan. See the hiring guidance in the next section.  (04-16-2010)
Changing FTEs in IFS

  1. To drown FTEs, the Financial Plan Manager must use an FR58 document to transfer the FTEs to the top node in Version 999 at the AUTH level (i.e., Funds Center IRS and Functional Area ALFA), and then contact the Corporate Budget Business Unit Analyst to complete the transaction. Corporate Budget will remove FTEs from IFS Version 999 at the higher level (APPR) with an FR50 document.

  2. To create new FTEs or restore previously drowned FTEs, the Financial Plan Manager must ask the Corporate Budget Business Unit Analyst to add FTEs at the higher level (APPR) with an FR50 document. Then the Financial Plan Manager may move the FTEs with an FR58 from APPR to AUTH level. Generally, the transfer should use Commitment Items ZPM32 for Full-time Permanent FTE and ZTM29 for Other than Full-time Permanent.

  3. Systemically, FTEs cannot be transferred in IFS between Funds. Rather, each Fund is treated individually with an increase or decrease. The Financial Plan Manager may contact Corporate Budget to request the increase and related decrease.

More Internal Revenue Manual